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DP in dire pain with disc prolpase/neck issue.. needs surgery ASAP

(9 Posts)
JessePinkmansHoody Tue 09-Feb-16 11:03:29

Can anyone advise... Two weeks ago DP ended up in A&E when what we thought was his painful "frozen shoulder" (a result of an old injury years ago) but on this day ended up with him having unbearable pain/loss of sensation in right hand/arm.

A&E strapped a neck brace on, dosed him up to eyeballs and MRI scanned/x-rayed him. These were sent to Kings (we are an hour or so from London) and it was ascertained by Kings that he needed surgery (they called it "major" and bandied about a scary statistic mentioning "possible 20% loss of mobility" re risks from the surgery shock)

He was originally supposed to be transferred to Kings... but ended up being sent home to wait, with a lot of pain killers and minus his neck brace.

He has been in agony. He can hardly do anything; eat, eat, sleep, move, get comfortable. I am caring best I can for him, plus working full time, so leaving him to manage on his own (mainly doze on and off) during day. He's in a bad way..

Yesterday, after two attempts previously where we had to turn back as he was in too much pain in car, we managed to get him to GP. GP said he should never have been discharged without a neck brace; pain relief regime was inadequate (she has exchanged Oramorph for patches which he started last night) and she is trying to chase up Kings.

We don't even have a name/contact for Kings so I can't start ringing and being politely persistent (I am more than capable, normally but I don't even know if it the spinal, orthopaedic or neurology dept)??!

Can anyone advise what we should be doing to move this along?

The diagnosis on his sick certificate from GP says "Cervical disc prolapse with myelopathy".

Any advice greatly received

sparechange Tue 09-Feb-16 11:09:59

I had similar, but in my lumbar spine rather than neck

The surgeon stabilised me and sent me home for a few days to await surgery, but said that if I got any numbness, I was to call 999 and get an ambulance to hospital and show them the discharge note from him, and ask to be seen by neurology ASAP.
The 'red flag' symptoms for me were incontinence, numb arse and legs and loss of feeling in my feet, but they would be different when a neck disc is compressed.

I would really treat this seriously though. When nerves are damaged by prolapsed discs, the damage can often be permanent...

Massive sympathy though. He must be in agony flowers

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 09-Feb-16 11:14:23

Has he still got loss of sensation in his hand? Previous poster is right that this could be permanent if not treated. This happened to a friend of mine, they didn't operate for four days and a year on she can't wee or poo still due to nerve damage.

JessePinkmansHoody Tue 09-Feb-16 11:26:17

It comes and goes WhoTheFuck confused

This is so worrying... I want to DO something but we keep meeting dead ends and being told to wait....

He works in care as well... has a new job on hold for him... sad

WicksEnd Tue 09-Feb-16 11:28:46

I've had this and had the operation.
I'll tell you right at the beginning of my post that my outcome was good so don't panic thanksthanks
Pre surgery I had lost the ability to walk in a straight line.(GP had told me I had a virus, for 3 months as my initial symptoms were general weakness)
I was in hospital for a week as they thought I had MS but when they finally did the scan, they saw the disc was almost severing my spinal cord and operated the following morning. I was told no sudden movements and had a neck brace put on immediately. I was never in any pain, but I was told I was becoming paralysed from the neck down and that surgery would not necessarily give me the feeling back in my legs and right arm.
I. Had the op, and did regain all feeling in my legs, I was left with some nerve damage which I take medication for.
If you want further info re the surgery, ask away but I'll not put too much as it might not be relevant to your DH's circs.
Safe to say he should be very careful for now any pins and needles/numbness/confusion/urinating probs just get to A&E

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 09-Feb-16 12:04:03

My friend had a lumber disc prolapse rather than a cervical disc. You would hope the Drs would know if it was ok to wait or not for your Dh.

But if he's still in pain and the numbness is coming and going I would be tempted to go back to a&e saying he's still in considerable pain. I'm sure some people might shout that doing so is a misuse of a&e and he's in the system, etc. But if it makes the difference between long term nerve damage or not I would do it. It's worrying when the gP says he should never have been discharged. And the fact they were initially going to transfer him. Makes you wonder if a bed shortage influenced the discharge decision.

JessePinkmansHoody Wed 10-Feb-16 15:27:22

Thanks all. Thanks to your advice yesterday I got on the case, like a dog with a bone and finally PALs at Kings (who I wrongly pictured as little old ladies in cupboards of large hospitals, pawing through lost property and with no Powers whatsoever - WRONG!) were able to confirm that DP is to go in on Sunday and have his surgery on Monday (touchwood)

sparechange Wed 10-Feb-16 16:13:43

Great news Jesse
Wishing him all the best for the OP
Are they doing a microdiscetomy or a fusion?

Quodlibet Wed 10-Feb-16 16:29:51

Just to play devil's advocate, I had 2 lumbar discs which badly prolapsed and left me with a numb undercarriage and in a lot of pain.

I went to the osteopath who sent me to A and E, who sent me home with an MRI appointment after various people sticking their fingers up my bum and looking worried. Didn't have an MRI that day because none was available, despite cauda equina syndrome being suspected.

After my MRI, I waited 6 weeks for my scan to be looked at - it clearly fell down the back of a filing cabinet because I was called one evening at home by a worried consultant who asked if I was still continent as the prolapse on my scan (which he had just reviewed) was very severe. Luckily I was able to report that yes I was, and that pain and numbness was reducing. He said if I had been assessed on the day and that level of damage detected I would have been sent to surgery. As it was, I avoided the surgery, it eventually resolved by itself and 8 years later (after some physio and regular Pilates to maintain spine health) I am completely fine.

It's a bugger that your DH's treatment has been delayed, but it might not medically be adverse to wait a bit and see if the disc prolapse starts to recede on its own without surgical intervention.

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